I recently got my beloved daily driver back from the body shop. Fortunately for my frequent passengers (I like to refer to you as “navigators” as the world is my rally) you’re already used to my parking decisions – because this experience certainly did not render me any less neurotic about where I leave my car. Good thing you’re already used to the walk the store from my parking space being longer than the drive was.
The damage to my car didn’t occur while parked, though. Due, in no small part, I’m sure, to my very protective parking procedures my precious has never possessed a careless shopping cart scratch or a door ding on her Tarmac Black skin. She did, though, receive slight minivan burn when I happened in the way of some guys U-Turn (me = right-of-way, him = blind, perhaps?). I’ve never had to deal with a car insurance company other than signing up and paying the bills – now that I have I certainly don’t recommend the experience. Since the other gentleman was at fault and was cited at the scene and the whole bit it was suggested by my insurance company that I make a claim against his insurance. Since his insurance company wasn’t really there to represent me – the person who had never paid them any money – they weren’t happy and smiley when dealing with me. Recorded statements, adjusters out of town, lack of communication – a whole lot of non-fun was had by yours truly. I have my car back, though, and now it’s time to get protective again.
So, today, I’ve already been cut-off twice. Twice on the same road – but by two different cars with the same name. More on that later.
When dealing with the friendly Florida Highway patrolman on the side of Bruce B Downs that day I said something that, as of today, I’m sure must be wrong. I was angry – sure – but I was calm, not screaming, doing my best not to cause any more of scene. This representative of Florida’s Finest noticed this and I told him, “It’s not like this guy is happy this happened. Nobody wants to get into an accident.”
They do, though, at least today. They want to be slammed into at highway speeds by a black Evolution. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS! In fact – I’m confused, dismayed and generally ticked off to the point of over-italicizing! What happened to defensive driving? I’m not talking about driving slowly and allowing 20 car lengths – I’m talking about driving as if you don’t want to be turned into a vehicular pancake! Why not wait to enter traffic until there is enough space between cars that no one has to slam on their brakes from 55mph to avoid your rear bumper? Do you really want to take the chance and hope that I’m paying attention and not sending an email on my Blackberry while changing my radio station, putting on eyeliner and lighting a cigar? What if I wasn’t super paranoid about keeping my car beautiful and wanted to slam into you to prove some sort of point? Why not show some love for your own car and your own precious time – after all, that whole FHP, insurance, body shop experience was not fun! On top of that, I now know from experience that YOU would be the one getting cited and YOU would be the one having your insurance rates go up. I don’t drive defensively ‘cause I’m a pussy or because I don’t know what my car is capable of, I pay attention because I care about myself, my time, avoiding hassles and, oh yes, I care about my Evo. Not everyone else is paying as much attention as I am.
Perhaps the name of the car you pick to drive implies something about you? Those two cars that cut me off both had the name “FOCUS” in silver emblems across the back. Good thing I do. Maybe their drivers should, too.